We would like to propose the utilization of CiviCRM in a big organization. They have 140.000 contacts, that manage more then 1.000.000 activities each year (including mails, contributions, etc), and they need to use ACL for 3 different level: holding, country, organization. Have someone experience about CiviCRM with these figures?

Thanks a lot


4 Answers 4


There are certainly instances with much larger numbers of contacts than you are describing. We have several in the range of .5-1 million contacts and of course the associated activities etc. And there are others out there much larger than those.

If it performance you are concerned about, rather than the number of rows in tables like _contact and _activities, the issues will more likely be around usage of Smart Groups and other query demanding features, especially if nesting of queries is involved.


Several organizations use CiviCRM with similar needs. Wikimedia Foundation and Australian Green Party have very similar requirements, for example.


We have about 1 million contacts now (grown from 50k to 1 million over 3 years) and have millions of activities. We are now using the full CiviMail to replace external email marketing systems which will greatly increase activities. We use complete contribution management and event management, we are now doing much more volunteer management which will also increase activities.

We moved from shared server, to virtual private server, to outsourcing hosting to a Civi service provider because of performance issues and lack of server expertise. If you have the server (or cloud) knowledge you could do it yourself.

We are just beginning to incorporate some complex smart groups and will see if they impact performance.

The organizational structure and ACLs are more complicated and I would recommend getting experienced advice.

  • I'm curious about the specs of your VPS. Could you tell us more about it? Thanks.
    – AlainB
    Commented May 28, 2017 at 9:12
  • It was on GoDaddy. We started with 3GB of memory and finished with 8GB memory. We also upgraded to the max amount of available resources that GoDaddy offered. I have no other parameters. I do not know enough about the server setup and the stack to know if our issues with the server were because of me and lack of knowledge or the server size. Commented May 29, 2017 at 10:09
  • Just a note that the outsourcing company (Fuzion) have this site running on a 12 GB Linode
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 21:04

It is our experience too that if there are performance problems with our bigger customers they tend to be caused by Smart Groups

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